Once again, this lesson is a good picture of a struggle of the flesh in the life of a carnal believer. You have a woman who wants desperately to continue to have children after God has already prospered her. Her motivation now is to outdo her sister. Leah is desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to have more. (She and her sister Rachel are in competition for her man)
When she doesn’t get what she wants, she will turn to her own schemes to get it. (She is going to help God out)
• As Christians do we act like this?
• Can you tell of a time when you tried to help God out?
• Have you ever wanted someone or something so bad you forced a situation to work?
If so what was the outcome?
Life is always difficult and sometimes it is compounded when the desires of our heart, are deceptive and mis- leading. In this chapter Leah and Rachel represent the divided heart, and the impatient flesh. Rachel and Leah both want what they want and they want it. They don’t care who it will hurt as long as they are satisfied.
1. Leah is desperately trying to get Jacobs attention, and also to show her barren sister up. “Rachel has the man but Leah has the babies”. This gives us a picture of a wife who is out of control.
2. When we try to take matters in our own hands instead of waiting on God, we too can make terrible mistakes that will impact our families for life. Leah has no idea how these decisions she is making will impact her children down the road.
3. It was not uncommon in that time for a servant to be given to a husband as wife. Servants were seen as property of another and less than human beings. (Sarah Abram’s wife did this with Hagar)
4. So what we see here is that Leah uses her servant any way that she wants too. However, even though she had a right to use her servant in this manner it was not the will of God. Nor was it ordained by God. (It was a pagan law)
5. Jacob goes along with it to try and keep the peace, and to try and make his troubled wife satisfied.(This was not good)
I. Leah’s Carnal behavior
9 Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn’t getting pregnant anymore, so she gave her servant, Zilpah, to Jacob to be his wife.
10 Soon Zilpah presented him with another son.
11 Leah named him Gad, for she said, “How fortunate I am!”
12 Then Zilpah produced a second son, 13 and Leah named him Asher, for she said, “What joy is mine! The other women will consider me happy indeed!”
• Leah in these verses uses her servant to get what she wanted
On last week we learned that when, the flesh is so far out of control the believer will not stop until they get everything they want in life.
We discovered that unless we get absolute control of our desires we too will do things we never thought we would do.
Rachel and Leah were out of control .They both wanted stuff and were willing to use each other to get what they wanted. In today’s text we see the amazing hand of God and how he chose to answer selfish prayers in order that he would be glorified in the earth.
1. Why would God do that?
2. Why would he give Leah what she wanted and finally grant Rachel her desire as well?
What you will discover on this journey with God is that he can use man’s misbehavior to fulfill his divine plan for him in the earth. However, this does not mean that man will not pay for what he has done, or that sin does not have a cost. Sin does cost man something, whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. Leah and Rachel have not had to pay yet, but they will pay dearly as their journey continues.
I. Leah’s Motivation
16 So that evening, as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me tonight!” she said. “I have paid for you with some mandrake roots my son has found.” So Jacob slept with her.
17 And God answered her prayers. She became pregnant again and gave birth to her fifth son.
(Let us review our thoughts)
• Leah who has received the blessing from the Lord, with several children is yet not satisfied, because her motives are to out do her sister, not to minister to her.
• Leah now represents the child of God that is misbehaving. She is taking advantage of her sister. She see’s her hurting and is willing to use her pain to profit from her own desires
• Leah is out of control! Leah is acting carnal at best. Leah has forgotten what God has done for her. She takes what Rachel wants and craves and then uses it to elevate herself in her eyes.
• She see’s Rachel’s obsession and takes advantage of her?
As she approaches Jacob, she is bartering for his time, because she is not wanted by him. Leah is going to make him be with her at a price. She is also revealing that His Love Rachael has sold him to her as the highest bidder. Her flesh is out of control.
• She then prays and God answers her prayer. This is a good picture of what we do. We often times do something and then ask God to bless it as we go.
• Leah is a good picture of a carnal and selfish prayer that God answers. She gets what she ask for, but has no idea that a price is going to come with it.
II. Leah’s Mindset
18 She named him Issachar, for she said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband as a wife.”
19 Then she became pregnant again and had a sixth son.
20 She named him Zebulun, for she said, “God has given me good gifts for my husband. Now he will honor me, for I have given him six sons.”
21 Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
• There is no mention of it here, but how did she get Jacob to stay in her tent again? Perhaps she went into the mandrake business!
• Perhaps she had Rachel so dependent on the drakes that she kept the deal rolling for years to come. (She has three kids back to back)
• Will not sin do this to you?
• Will not the idea that you have been successful before make you believe that you can do it again?
• Will not your own desires allow you to gloat a little bit?
Leah thinks that God is on her side, and that her selfish prayers are what pleases God.
Sometimes God gives the child of God what they ask for so they can become more dependent upon him.
She got more kids but she never got Jacob, she was always pleading with God to help her out. The more she requested the more of God she needed.
III. Rachel’s Miracle
22 Then God remembered Rachel’s plight and answered her prayers by giving her a child.
23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. “God has removed my shame,” she said.
24 And she named him Joseph, for she said, “May the LORD give me yet another son.”
After all of the mandrakes and other things she has tried, she finally recognizes that God is the one who gives life.
She has tried everything to have children, and has made many mistakes, but God has answered her prayer.
1. Why could not she wait on God?
2. Why cannot we wait on God?
3. Everything he had for her he had in time, why was his time not good enough for her?
4. What is wrong with the child of God that cannot wait on God?
5. Do you struggle like Rachel? Why?
What was for Leah was for Leah, and what was for Rachel was for Rachel.
God had a plan for both of them before the world began, and he would even use their misbehavior to accomplish his will for them in the earth.
God is going to start the twelve tribes of Israel out all that these two women have done. They will be a people at war with each other, and with others. But God will get the glory out of all of their pain and suffering.
God is amazing! He uses our blended families in spite of making terrible mistakes. He is a wonder working God, and will get all the praise and glory in the end.
Leah in these verses opened her bed to a stranger to please her own desires.
Leah in these verses brought children into a situation where they would be impacted for the rest of their lives
When we try to take matters in our own hands instead of waiting on God, we too can make terrible mistakes that will impact our families for life.
Leah represents the child of God who is impatient and out of control. She wants what she wants when she wants it. Nothing or nobody will stop her from getting it.
Leah’s pride has been damaged, she believes that she is entitled to more children, and she will show Rachel and win Jacobs love by doing what she (Rachel) is not able to do
Since Leah had something that Rachel did not have she felt “powerful” and in control. She would use children if she could to get what she wanted. (Wrong attitude to have)
1. Why should Leah behave this way she had given birth to several children?
2. When did God tell her she could not have any more children?
3. When your flesh is out of control how should you behave in the presence of God?